Today began with a pretty long subway ride to the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Zhongda) to visit a good friend of mine from Zhejiang. After being notified that my phone sim card was already out of money, I left the light rail and walked into campus. The first thing that caught my eye while waiting for my friend was the Goddess of Democracy statue, which was created to honor the students of the June Fourth Incident. Zhongda has been a flashpoint in recent years between Chinese of all political persuasions, frequently the subject of pieces in the Mainland and American media. According to my friend, there seems to be a real disconnect between Mainland and Hong Kong students, with many from the Mainland only associating with others from the Mainland, and many from Hong Kong only associating with others from Hong Kong. This situation is only made worse by a marked language barrier between the two groups. I hope to learn more about other barriers to communication, as I think that in addition to the possibility of the political situation becoming more volatile in the years to come, relations between individuals could become strained as well. Zhongda would be a good testing ground for not only gaining a deeper understanding of these issues, but also experimenting with possible solutions and creating spaces for dialogue.

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